Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A beautiful grace

I wonder sometimes if our priest thinks I'm completely loco. Actually, I sometimes wonder if every priest thinks I'm crazy... or just terribly terribly catechized. Like that one time I asked the priest up in Seattle if I could bring my coffee in and just leave it in the back? Whoowee. You would have thought by the look that he gave me that I asked if I could burn the baby Jesus right there in his little manger up on the altar. (Doesn't he know that coffee in Seattle just tastes better than anywhere else? I didn't want to let it just go to waste!)

Or that time I asked if my non-Catholic, but extremely devout Christian friends could be my children's godparents?  Same look. (Well, not really. It was more of a "You've got to be kidding me" look. But still.)

I'll admit it. I must have been poorly catechized to be asking such questions. But in my defense - at least the holiness of the Eucharist has never been lost on me. To whit, one of the first chapel services I attended at the protestant college I went to was a communion service. Everything was going as expected, until in quite a visual display, the chaplain demonstrated "This is the body of Christ BROKEN for you!" and made a very crusty French loaf explode all over herself, the table and the floor. I sat there stunned and waited for the lightning to fall from heaven.  There were little bits of Jesus everywhere!! Why wasn't anyone rushing in to clean Him up? After a few minutes when the lightning didn't strike, I wondered if maybe I should help clean up the body of Christ all over the floor... what to do? What to do?

So, this last week when our priest made a home visit to anoint my husband and bring him Holy Communion before his surgery - it should have surprised no one that I was unaware that I could receive the Host for Paul, since Paul could not have any food.

"Really? You can do that?"

"Well, you *are* married, right?  It is written that 'The two shall become one...'"

Oooooohhhh. Right.

And then it hit me. Not the red-faced shame that I experienced on the other occasions when I asked my ignorant questions... but the beauty of it all. My husband couldn't take any food. But *I* could. And together we could ask our Father to transfer the blessings to the one I was united to in marriage. 

Some describe grace as "unmerited favor". In this instance, grace showed itself by allowing me to stand in the gap for my husband. Little, poorly catechized me. What a beautiful thing - to be used by God to bless the ones I love in ways I had never imagined I could. Thank you Jesus for your grace. Thank you Jesus for your body, broken for us, that we may be healed. Body, soul and spirit. Amen.